Cyclist Injured In Collision With Vehicle
Well-Known 74-Year-Old Recovering From Incident
Posted: November 30, 2012
Drivers who regularly travel through Shenandoah County are used to passing 74-year-old Charlie Martin as he takes his 30-mile bike ride each day.
Seeing Martin stay in shape by pedaling up and down the county’s often-mountainous roads is an inspiring sight — but it’s one that almost turned tragic on Monday when the avid cyclist was clipped by a passing vehicle on U.S. 11 just south of Landfill Road in Edinburg.
The incident occurred at about 5:30 p.m., just after dusk, according to Virginia State Police spokesman Sgt. F.L. Tyler, who said Martin did not have lights on his bicycle.
Tyler said the mirror of a passing vehicle knocked Martin off his bike. The resulting fall left him with four broken ribs and a concussion.
Debbie Sellers, one of the owners of the Edinburg Filling Station coffee house, which Martin frequents, said Martin has been known to ride his bike from New Market to Strasburg in one day “just for fun.”
“I think he just does it because he loves it,” she said.
Consequently, Martin is in exceptional shape for his age. The fact that he’s fond of dancing doesn’t hurt, either.
The Edinburg Filling Station hosts open mic nights on Fridays and Saturdays, and Sellers said Martin comes in about three times a month.
Known as much for his eclectic outfits as his athletic prowess, Sellers said Martin frequently wears old license plates, which he collects, around his neck as necklaces while he dances.
“He goes to yard sales and gets these really old license plates,” she said, adding that he then presents them to the owners of the coffee house before he departs.
“[The Filling Station] is decorated in Charlie’s license plates,” Sellers said.
Martin also is a collector of hats.
“He comes in with a huge bag of hats and he’ll wear one while dancing to one song and then change hats for the next song,” Sellers said. “It’s an absolute riot. We now have kids that come in and bring hats so they can dance when Charlie does.”
The coffee house also sells a T-shirt depicting Martin wearing a large hat.
He was scheduled to be released from the hospital Thursday evening or early this morning.
Tyler said the accident remains under investigation and he does not know yet whether charges will be filed against the driver of the vehicle.
Sellers said as far as she’s heard, Martin is in good spirits.
“It sounds like he’s doing fine, just wanting to come home,” she said.
Contact Kaitlin Mayhew at 574-6290 or email@example.com